New technology could convert more waste into aggregate

A new technology intended to convert mineral silt and fines to produce an aggregate for use in construction will be developed by the Recycling Commercialisation Centre with support from the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

Fine-Agg is a technology is based on research from Dr Chris Cheeseman and Richard Lupo from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, both from Imperial College London.

If applied successfully, researchers say that Fine-Agg technology "promises to alleviate disposal of a waste material through the creation of a value-added product."

Typically, soil and an accumulation of washing facilities, which produce recycled aggregates result in unusable mineral silt and fines as a significant waste material. Researchers say that waste silt can reach up to 10% of the material processed, and is commonly disposed of in landfill because it is not perceived as a useful product.

Dr Chris Cheeseman said: "The cost of landfill means that disposal of waste silt and fines generated from aggregate washing are a major issue. Fine-Agg has the potential to transform these types of materials into resources for use in more sustainable construction."

Commenting on the contract Steve Creed, director of business growth at WRAP, said:

"WRAP is committed to encouraging growth in the recycling industry through product innovation and developing new markets for recycled materials.

"A major part of our work is persuading people to think again about whether something is a waste or a resource. Fine-Agg ticks all the boxes and we are delighted that the inventors are working with the Recycling Commercialisation Centre to bring this technology to market."

The Recycling Commercialisation Centre was established by WRAP to boost the growth and development of early stage technologies in the recycling sector. It is operated by Imperial Innovations, the commercial arm of Imperial College. Imperial Innovations is listed on London's AIM exchange as IVO.

Dana Gornitzki



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